Ultracold and Ultrafast – A Story of Atoms and Light

Please join us for a presentation by Michaela Kleinert (Dept. of Physics) this Friday, April 26th at 3:00 pm in Ford Hall 102 – (Kremer Board Room). The title of her talk is: “Ultracold and Ultrafast – A Story of Atoms and Light”

Ultracold atoms and molecules are very cold indeed: At only about a millonth of the temperature of outer space (a few micro Kelvin), their internal and external motion becomes essentially frozen, and high precision studies of their quantum mechanical properties become possible. This leads to exciting applications ranging from the confirmation of the standard model of particle physics to quantum computers. In this talk I will introduce you to my research lab on ultracold rubidium and calcium atoms, and their molecular dimer RbCa.

I will also give you a glimpse into a much warmer and faster place: Ultrafast industrial lasers. These lasers can be used as “brute force” cutting instruments, but also as high-precision “scissors”. My lab just recently received such a laser. We are interested in studying the behavior of different materials as they are bombarded by high-intensity ultrafast laser pulses (so called ablation studies). Results of these studies have direct consequences for industrial applications of ultrafast laser pulses.